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The Secret of Pac-Man's Success: Making Fun First (GDC 2004)

Published March 24, 2004

The games that enjoy breakout success are typically built on a wide range of key factors. Developers of a hit game may focus on as many as ten fundamental features, but once they release the title, gamers naturally find a deeper appeal through the process of playing through the game. While progressing through the title, the gamer experiences an increasing level of enjoyment, the most critical fundamental factor of game design.

Based on his experiences creating groundbreaking hits like Pac-Man and Time Crisis, the speaker proposes that the most effective mantra for a game developer is "Fun First," remembering that games are made for, and open to, the public. Gamers simply won't keep playing a game that amounts to a list of chores, no matter how technologically impressive the title may be. Yet determining that "fun factor" is still an elusive concept, even after a quarter century of gaming output. The reasons how and why human beings experience fun is a field that deserves serious consideration, in light of the enormous revenue potential of the videogame industry.

Speaker: Toru Iwatani
Company: Namco

Run time 56:56
Audio/Visual sound, color
Language English


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